DAVENPORT — Merle L. Cooper, 75, of Davenport passed away Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, in Davenport. Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, in the Runge Mortuary Chapel. Visitation will be 2-5 p.m. Sunday at the mortuary, concluding with a Masonic service at 5 p.m. Burial will be at Rock Island National Cemetery.
Merle was born May 25, 1938, the son of LeRoy and Lillian (Sturms) Cooper. He graduated from Davenport High School. He received his B.A. degree from St. Ambrose College and later received his M.B.A. from Western Illinois University. He married Patricia Fock. He later married Jane Lehrner. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army. He served 22 years with the Davenport Police Department, starting his career in 1963 as a patrolman and working his way up and retiring in 1985 as captain of the Detective Bureau. He was instrumental in starting a weight room program at the department and served as a training officer. He also taught at the Police Academy in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Following retirement, he moved to New Orleans as an entrepreneur. He recently moved back to Davenport to care for his mother.
He enjoyed watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, listening to a variety of music, reading, and traveling to many different countries.
His memberships included: Iowa State Police Association 2 and Fraternal Lodge 221, AF & AM and KAABA Shrine.
Survivors include daughters, Sandra K. Cooper Flenker and Kimbra Cooper (Jeff) Jager; grandchildren, Nick (Melissa) Flenker, Nate (Angie) Flenker, Grant Flenker, Kyle (Jenna Losasso) Jager and Brady (Mallory Williams) Jager; and great-grandchildren, Brooklynn, Bryce, Brock and Charlotte. He is also survived by Pat Cooper St-John and several cousins.
Memorials may be made to the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children. Online condolences may be expressed at www.rungemortuary.com.